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Understanding Ohio’s Workplace Drug Testing Laws

Understanding Ohio’s Workplace Drug Testing Laws

For a variety of reasons, many employers require that their workers maintain a drug-free lifestyle. While some treat this requisite under the honor code, others require mandatory drug testing for both current and prospective employees. It is important for people in Ohio to understand their rights and obligations related to workplace drug testing.

For the most part, state law governs these processes, as the federal government does not generally require or prohibit drug tests — except in the case of certain industries in which safety is paramount, such as aviation and transportation. Within each state, certain drugs are treated differently, and some drugs’ legality varies from state to state. For example, recreational marijuana use is now legal in two states.

In Ohio, employers may test employees under a variety of circumstances. First, all employers have the right to drug test new applicants and new hires. Further, employers also are permitted to drug test existing employees in some situations, including subsequent to a workplace accident, after an employee has tested positive and returns to work and if the employer has reasonable suspicion that drug use might be occurring. Any employer who decides to implement workplace drug testing must do so under strict guidelines with employee assistance program resources, employee education and training for supervisors.

Despite the fact that drug testing is permitted in Ohio, there are many circumstances under which an employee might object to the manner and method by which the test was conducted. An employer is prohibited from profiling and singling out certain individuals for testing. Further, workers taking legal prescription medication for disabilities cannot face adverse employment action for testing positive for these drugs, even if the substances would otherwise be banned. Employers may not violate an individual’s privacy in conducting its drug test.

If you have tested positive in a workplace drug test and you believe the test might have been illegal or unfair, meet with a skilled drug defense attorney at the Law Office of Gregory S. Robey in Cleveland.


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